Questions to Assess Professional Development Goals
Strong leaders value and focus on their own personal development goals. The best leaders seek new information and ideas in a variety of ways with the purpose of personal growth. They don’t say, “I’ve arrived at a certain level of my career where I have mastered everything and there is nothing to learn.”
The growth mindset, coined by the brilliant Carol Dweck, is about seeing all situations – even “failures” an opportunity to grow. Leaders with a growth mindset are open minded, willing to try new things, curious and empowered. Growth minded leaders value learning and get excited about learning new things.
Below are some questions to help you (or your colleagues) think through your own personal growth plan.
Begin by reflecting on your development over the past year:
- What did you learn this year?
- In what ways do you learn best?
- Who did you learn from? (And did you let them know? It might just make their day!)
- Where did you find resources that are interesting and relevant to your growth?
- What would you like to do more of and/or less of next year regarding your personal development?
It’s also helpful to begin thinking about your learning goals for next year:
- What do you want to learn more about next year?
- How would you personally benefit from learning that?
- Who might have ideas, recommendations,11 or be a source for your learning?
- How would you like to learn? (Ex. Take a class, read a book, participate in a Community of Practice?)
- How will you structure and build in time to learn each week/month/quarter?
- How will you hold yourself accountable for this learning?
While you can answer these questions by yourself, you may find that it is more meaningful to pair up with a trusted colleague and ask each other these questions. As you do, ask coaching questions to support each other in identifying your next steps.
If you are a professional who works with teams and leaders, the Forward Community of Practice is an excellent way to stay up-to-date with how to design and facilitate team sessions. You'll engage with internal and external coaches, facilitators and trainers who are exploring tools, technology, and practices to help teams be happy and high performing.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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